Friday, September 27, 2013

Iquitos, Peru: Ayahuasca: Pit Bulls, Poodles, and Pussies

Hola, Gringita.

I'm liking the impaled anaconda on a sword graphic idea as the cover illustration for my ayahuasca book.

"It's not a drug!!!" Caduceus sobbed hysterically as metallic New Age tears of angst ran down his rouged, tattooed cheeks, “It's a medicine!!!”

I took ayahuasca again last night, this time in the jungle. I am totally disgusted, and if I could bring myself to be a mindless thug I'd hit someone. Problem is, I can't think of anyone to blame for this situation. And worse, mindless thugs don't need a reason to hit people. I get no relief here.

I was in the exalted company last day with one of the celebrity shamans of the century, and when I took a couple of hours to interview him it was clear why he is such a major success: he's a babbling, evasive idiot. That, and he's not Peruvian. He's "imported." He's blind in one eye and thus he wears black sunglasses at night. When he sits cross-legged on the floor to chant and blow smoke up my arse my evil mind turns to visions indeed: Ray Charles sitting down at a piano. BONG.

The stuff I had last night is powerful stuff, if one goes by the relatively worse taste, which prompted me to refrain from my usual toast as I drink ('Death to our enemies') in favour of "Ah, just like mum used to make it." Gawd, the ayahuasca tasted like rotten milk and mustard. That would be worse than the "shit and gasoline" I wrote about somewhere else. I got a Big Gulp, which in itself is probably illegal in New York City. The big gulp was much to do with shaman showmanship, as befitting the large group and my special appearance as a medium famous writer from America. My buddy, the local shaman acting as assistant at his own place, filled the cup, and then the star of this show motioned with his fingers like an obnoxious drunk at a cheap tavern, “Fill it up more.” Then, because I'd spent three hours discussing with Shaman Fantastic my previous failures, talking with him and a group of eager listeners to the man's words of wisdom and his emphatic promises and even guarantee that because this guy is The Best, that I would have what he and the others all called, in Spanish, of course, “Bee-see-own-ays,” I was first to be called up before the crowd for the “ceremony” of drinking this vile shite. Special is what I am. Yeah, right.

My clueless love interest, the ever lovely German who is not just German but East German, and not just East German but a driven multi-national corporate financial consultant with a black belt in karate who lives in the jungle and stalks the perimeter of her compound with a machete challenging men who carry guns, the otherwise tiny and humourless thinking machine I am smitten by, the East German who is in fact a time-warp emanation from 19th century Prussia, perhaps von Bismarck's illegitimate daughter, the woman who says she likes ayahuasca because it regulates her period while doing nothing else but allowing her more energy so she doesn't sleep much, this White Terror of the Selva who has intimidated the whole village and surrounding area, took the second and equally dramatic drink. She seems to have forgotten my interest in her and wandered off to sit with other people to talk about chakras or something she picks up from drug tourists at the local ayahuasca cafe, and I didn't see her till late next day. This would be the same girl I would marry if the contract I have to sign allows me visiting rights to the test tube babies she wants to have with Nobel Prize winning scientists. Not really my day. Not my night. Not my cup of shite.

After all the grand promises of “visions” I sat down for an hour in the darkness by myself before I got sick of listening to people puking, and I went out for a walk for ten minutes or so, walking up the hillock to a mowed down lawn by the church where I was sure I could stand to take a piss without being bitten by snakes in tall grass, killing time to let the ayahuasca finally kick in, pissing on my shoes in the darkness. I returned to the malocca roofed centre where everyone sat around on the wooden floor adoring the celebrity shaman, and I waited, and then I got bored and crawled into a borrowed tent snug up against the wall in the middle of the business area of the shamanic center, and I went to sleep while another eleven people were an arm's reach away from me. So much for my experiences of the Mystik. I did manage to get some sleep, however, in spite of the sessions of icaro singing, admittedly quite pretty as it was done in four part harmonies and some lovely discordances that would lull me back to sleep when I had to turn over on the bare floor to ease my aches.

In the morning I found Miss Poisonality asleep in her tent and the rest of everyone else gone. I stomped down the hill through the jungle on a crumbling cement sidewalk that cuts through the green and leafy terrain like a rampant blood-poisoning skin disease, and I got to the village store veranda for coffee, along the way scaring the hell out of a stray dog who hadn't ever seen so early in the morning a grumpy old guy without his morning hit of powered Nescafe. I drank thin coffee and waited for Sleeping Beauty to wake up and spring lightly down to the beach to say “Hello and good morning,” but by the time I finished my second cup of instant, the peke-peke boat came into the lovely garbage-choked backwater by the ant hill village so I walked uphill instead to get her and our guest from the centre, only to find them fucked-off somewhere. I grabbed my mosquito net from the side of someone's backpack on the floor and figured that they could take another boat and I could always get a romantic email from her accountant someday letting me know how it went with her the previous ayahuasca evening.

We have, the German and I, this much in common: Ayahuasca does nothing for either of us, or mostly me because my regular bleeding sessions are down to a minimum since I grew too old to get into serious combat situations. My good-natured self not only scared a stray dog as I stomped around the jungle in a post-ayahuasca trance-rage, I am apparently frightening to small children, two of whom, holding hands on the path, burst into tears at the sight of me, and this after two huge cups of coffee. Who knows how they would have reacted without having had so much coffee. Me? I kept on drinking back at the tienda overlooking the long, thin bog that is water access to the village, hoping against hope to drown my sorrows, there being no one else to drown instead, though it was possible I could have enjoyed drowning a tub full of hippies with all the piss of my pissed-off-ness. The captain came and I headed out. As I was about to get into the boat Ms. Brainiac showed up, sans machete this time, and with her usual flair for bluntness told me that she had "visions" a few minutes after swallowing her ayahuasca in the night. I asked what it was like, what happened. She then informed me that it was a personal experience and that she would email me an account. I call this love. You might be scared if I told you about what I consider sexy. Scares me, I tell ya.

We all got us on a slow boat to Iquitos upon which was a late arrival who told me not to puff mapacho in a public place. Being a sensitive New Age wannabe, I hurt my chances badly when I glowered at the guy and said, “Fuck off, faggot.” It was a quiet trip thereafter, leaving me alone with my thoughts of meanness. Back in town we made our way to my place where my best gal asked if she could check her email on my computer. Every guy should be so fucking lucky. "Of course you can touch my keyboard, honey. It's an honour to be thought of so highly."

Next time I get a rubber blow-up sex doll girlfriend I'm going to skip the Mercedes model and go straight for something appealing, something made of carbon fiber and aerocraft aluminum engineered by computer in Taiwan. Simple, you know. These days I have painful memories of love and true romance that only the healing powers of Mother Ayahuasca can cure me of. And that bitch hates me.

Ah, my best love interest tells me that she can be bitchy. I don't bother saying that when a woman unleashes her inner bitch it often happens that in response a man unleashes his inner pit bull, except for the majority of male cases in which the man puts his inner poodle back in the kennel and Mr. Fifi curls up in a corner to lick his nuts. I know I'm some kind of dog.

The good news from all of this is that many people have now told me what's wrong with me. I call this “self-improvement.” People I've never even met before lined up to tell me about my personal failings and how if only I had worn a pink tutu the ayahuasca visions would have come thick and fast and that Workers' Paradise would now be the norm in the triumphant Soviet Union. My fault. I just didn't diet properly enough when I was a child. I fucked up all of my life and also destroyed all hope for the perfect future of the proletarian classes and peasants. That's what prevents me from having visions; and that it is the fault of losers like me that Communism failed and why we live in a rotten world of kulaks and wreckers and The Jooos! If only I had stood on my left foot rather than my right foot while I whistled Dixie out my arse, then I too would have had visions and the Five Year Plan would have exceeded all expectations. Why am I such a prick? It's my fault we had a war in Viet Nam. No wonder ayahuasca doesn't work for me. I do everything wrong.

I really do want to punch somebody. There are too many half-candidates and no one really right for it. I'd punch Mother Ayahuasca in the tits if I could. I am right sick of all this. I begin to wonder why anyone bothers with ayahuasca and true love anymore anyway, what with all the varieties of porn on the Internet. Who needs "visions" when one has "Fucking Clowns on a Roll"? and some of my other favourites round the clock. Visions? Wait till you see that monster classic 35 Fucking Bozos in a Volkswagen. Now, that's a vision.

Ayahuasca? I begin to wonder if I really want to pursue any of this dead-end bullshit any further at all. Really, puking and being angry isn't all that it's cracked up to be. And why would people want to “know themselves”? Many people are fucking jerks. Hey, just ask anyone about me, for example.

Well, I'm not even a jerk when it comes down to it, I'm a skeptic. Worse, I'm a skeptic who seemingly cannot shut up about stuff. OK, I have to get right into it and say whatever pops into my head, no matter how offended will be those who have built their lives on lies they must maintain and those who must follow such phonies if they are to maintain careers and build futures. I dislike to the nth degree what I call bullshit. Being fancy, I calls this “skepticism.” I'm skeptical about ayahuasca. I'm skeptical about my own conclusions so far, as well.

In the interests of finding out the truth about my ayahuasca experiences I have a silent partner in this exploration, an American writer named Bo Keeley who is following my journey with some interest and much useful information and advice.

Keeley quotes Peter Gorman: “There is really no story unless you see the Coney Island & 4th of July.”

Keeley continues: “Or, is there? If for some reason there is no high after the [next curandero's] brew, then it is actually a feather in your odd cap. You are immune. Peter Gorman has seen only 12 people among thousands who have had no effect from aya. And yet, the medicine apparently still works on the subconscious level for them.”

I've written about this above, that I would be ashamed of myself if I had hallucinations of snakes and smiling monkeys. I don't want to see anything so childish. So far, (and I have emphasized that I see nothing,) I have 'seen' something like my grandmother's collection of round cookie tins on kitchen shelves, and that in the last session I saw, for maybe 10 to 15 seconds, a reflection on a lake back home, a very pretty reflection of turquoise, gold, emerald green and sapphire blue. As the clock clicked and my “vision” faded, it all went down a spiral toilet flush and I had nothing further to report. My ayahuasca experience was over and I went to sleep in a roomful of people hallucinating all around me, including the German who until that time had never had any better experience than I. My feeling is that I had some hallucination lasting about ten seconds and then nothing more. No Coney Island or Fourth of July fireworks, the kind of hallucination I would have been offended by in the first place. So, I didn't have such visions. Instead, I fell asleep. This tells me I am not blocking out ayahuasca visions with internal chatter. I slept. Nor am I any kind of rigid science guy. So, when Keely asked a science friend about my lack of hallucinations, this is the response, in part, that he got and sent to me:

"Lots [of people have no effect from ayahuasca]. Scientists tend to block it all because it doesn't make sense to them. So they deny it completely. Other people are so full of internal chatter they can't hear the spirits whisper.”

It becomes potentially interesting to me below:

“But the medicine is still doing her work, and in a few months they'll probably recognize a change in themselves.

“Unfortunately, nearly everybody wants Coney Island rides and the fantastic 4th of July Fireworks display. That's nonsense stuff that people adore and it's taken as proof that they had the real experience. I tell them that stuff is what you get before the real dream begins.

“So yes, I know the syndrome. Yes, the medicine is working anyway..”

Anonymous. Sept. 2013.

I could have been vain enough to buy into the idea that I am too sophisticated to have childish hallucinations about snakes and smiling monkeys and that my ayahuasca experiences would be some elevated version of Moses encountering the Burning Bush, for example, and that since nothing like that happened, then it's still actually happening in my subconscious areas and it will gradually reveal itself to me over the course of months. I don't think so. I think nothing happened. I think nothing happened because the German hallucinated for six hours full blast, as it were. Nor were her hallucinations trivial, as I understand it. If it happened to her, it is possible for me to hallucinate as well in similar fashion.

It's not that I am doing something wrong. The blame game I keep hearing is the usual bullshit of nanny people who can't shut up and can't refrain from retelling the world how to be perfect.

I suspect I hallucinate for upwards of 15 seconds per session. If that is possible, then it is likely possible for me to hallucinate for six hours like the German did. But, I won't discount the subconscious aspects entirely. I just don't have any reason to believe it as yet.

Mostly I am competitive and I cannot let a German beat me at anything. I will carry on till I die or get completely fucked-up on this jungle drug. Coney Island and the Fourth of July, I don't care. I'll win my goal of finding out for myself just what I can from ayahuasca. Meantime, I want to choke someone. We know who that man is....

Now I can turn perhaps with a clearer mind to the pursuit of my own interests in ayahausca, the very stuff of which I am pleased to drink alone by myself.

Who needs friends when I can drink alone in the dark and shake my fucking head?

A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

D.W. Walker, Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic

One of my new books, Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic, is coming out soon.

Confessions of an Ayahuasca Skeptic

D.W. Walker

Iquitos, Peru


Some people confuse scepticism with cynicism. Don't do that.

I'm off to the jungle again soon to take yet more ayahuasca. When I finish doing this with success, assuming I am ever successful, I will write up my accounts, and then the book will come. I could be done in just over a week. Will up-date as things happen.

Cover illustration: Giuseppe Archimboldo. Italian. 1526 – 1593

I use "skeptic" in Greek over "sceptic" in Latin just because I like Greek better. But I use "scepticism" because it's formal English. Life is tough.


Dag Walker
Iquitos, Peru


Just returned from the jungle for an ayahuasca session with a celebrity curandero. Everyone was highly excited by his presence and highly impressed with his super-potent ayahuasca that did not a fucking thing for me. I am totally disgusted. 

A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here: